/ NEWS: The first on-sight ascent of Gaia

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Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2008
For climbers who may have missed it, the first onsight ascent of Gaia apparently took place yesterday, and was being discussed here on Rocktalk until about half an hour ago, but the thread has now suddenly been removed by the moderators.

If something as interesting and as important as this can't be discussed on Rocktalk, what can?

UKC STAFF EDIT: NEWS: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/older.html?month=11&year=2008#n45439
north country boy - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: it will have been pulled so they can put a news item on, which doesn't make them look like they have missed the boat with groundbreaking news....again...
JSA - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
you mean this one? http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=328811

i hope this link still works :$
Liam Copley - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: it got put into 'the pub' before it got pulled b y the way.
Wrongfoot on 13 Nov 2008 - client-86-27-238-248.popl.adsl.virgin.net
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Maybe this can be considered a second go?

Maybe the folks who posted the sort of replies that must have lead to it being pulled can reconsider this time around?
Wrongfoot on 13 Nov 2008 - client-86-27-238-248.popl.adsl.virgin.net
In reply to Wrongfoot:

Ah. I see the content dragged it down to the Pub.
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Wrongfoot:

I wonder what on earth anybody might have said that was considered to be so 'wrong'? It seems to me that there's a huge mismatch between that rather huge and featureless lump of gritstone and the preciousness of some of those who may or may not want to talk about it. Odd indeed.
deacondeacon - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
Right lets try again.

Fantastic ascent Alex, well done on a remarkable climb in great style.
Hip hip hooray
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to deacondeacon:

Cheers, deacon, at least it seems I've resurrected the thread for a while! (But maybe maybe congratulating anybody is out of order regarding such a precious piece of rock?? I haven't a clue)
JSA - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

well done that man!! lets hope to see more ascents from them before they fly home :0)
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I suspect it was pulled as it turned into the usual - sniping drivel!

Re Gaia - really great effort there guys - keep it up!


Chris
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to the inspiral carpet:

I think I should put those links about it back:

http://climbingworks.blogspot.com/2008/11/team-america-day-out.html
http://www.climbmagazine.com/gaiaonsight.aspx

Otherwise, given that this is an important and interesting piece of UK climbing news, I've no idea what this website's really about.
Jamie B - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

And I'll repeat what I said about it being as close to an on-sight as makes no odds; I really doubt whether watching the vid will have gained yer man any edge. A true landmak in grit history IMHO.
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Jamie B.:

What you say has to be right, making it something of a landmark which no one here should be embarrassed about. (Just what is going on here??)
Steve Parker - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (Just what is going on here??)

I suspect Chris gave you the most likely explanation above.

James Jackson on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

These guys have done so well, what a trip!
john howard 1 - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Wow, really inspiring stuff, nothing but respect and admiration for these guys, hope the weather improves for them, keep it up lads
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Liam Copley:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth) it got put into 'the pub' before it got pulled b y the way.

I know that, and referred to that in my original post, which has now been censored.

I said (words to the effect) that I was not interested in reading about such an important rock climbing news item in 'the pub', especially as so-called pub has nothing in common with any pub that I know of, and very little connection with the real world. I still have no idea why it was not allowed to remain in Rocktalk.

Liam Copley - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: yeah it is a bit strange that its called 'the pub' as people talk about pretty much anything on there.
Michael Ryan - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I'll email you direct as regards our policy as regards News and forum threads.

Meanwhile Gordon, try and stay on topic.
mark reeves - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Hi Gordon

The other thread got very ludicrous towards the end. I have added my opinion to the debate on my blog. http://lifeinthevertical.blogspot.com/2008/11/gaia-onsight-or-flash.html

I think I will personally see this as the first on-sight, unless I hear he spent the last twelve months watching it twice a day on his Ipod.
Michael Ryan - on 13 Nov 2008

It is what it is....

Why the rush to put a label on this ascent? -- I know I know......why

It's a ... haven't-been-on-it-before-seen-it-on-a-video-ground-up-flash-in-three-minutes-f*ck-me-that-was-amazing... .... type of ascent .... or something..
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
>
> I'll email you direct as regards our policy as regards News and forum threads.
>
> Meanwhile Gordon, try and stay on topic.

Mick, I brought this important news item back on topic. No one else did. And I suspect that a huge swathe of UKC regulars would not have known about it if I hadn't done so. (Don't fantasise that many UKC visitors who are interested in rock climbing visit 'the pub' very often.)


Franco Cookson OLD - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:


do you mean a flash?
Michael Ryan - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Franco Cookson:

rather than discussing terminology .... and this thread, that thread.... I called this first...whatever!!!!

What an amazing ascent?

What does this kind of ascent mean for the future?

Just what will tomorrow's elite climbers be doing onsight, with no gear,looking at a huge fall, and the hardest move....?
mark reeves - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
>
> What an amazing ascent?
>
> What does this kind of ascent mean for the future?

Good points well made . Alex obviously kicks arse on the Trad climbing front.

Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

(Great to hear your enthusiasm for this achievement, but isn't it rather embarrassing that an important UKC news item like this is now going out under my name - of all people! - because of some apparent UKC moderating hang-up?)
Franco Cookson OLD - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

It is amazing. I wouldn't quite say it's hugely ground breaking, as others have climbed E8, but a massive, massive achievement and I don't get how you can get in the zone to do that kind of thing. Love to meet him.

Re the future: God knows, if all these talented headpointers and wall climbers, like whittiker (sp) and Shauna Coxsey, turn their attention to onsight climbing we may just have some british super heroes as well:-)
Michael Ryan - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Not all. You clearly misunderstand how the new climbing media works...

I could explain.

Darn forum heads --- the world revolves around them........
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Mick, I understood it enough to bring it back on line for the masses, at least.
shark - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Not all. You clearly misunderstand how the new climbing media works...I could explain.

Is it because this is another managed Simmonite exclusive or are you talking about something else ?
Liam Copley - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: was the ascent filmed?, and that reminds me, was kevins ascent of Parthian Shot filmed either? or any of the americans ascents for that mattter :)
Andrew Murray - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: the first time i stood beneath Gaia i couldn't believe how different it looked compared to pictures. to see someone else climb a route on the telly getting in the way of an onsight is laughable. an utterly stunning effort - what the fark is there to debate?
simon c on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Liam Copley:
> was kevins ascent of Parthian Shot filmed either? or any of the americans ascents for that mattter :)<

from what I remember there was someone videoing the ascent.

Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Liam Copley:

Sorry Liam, I've no idea. I think it would be useful if UKC could tell us something, rather than us having to tell them.
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Nov 2008
In reply to Andrew Murray:
> an utterly stunning effort - what the fark is there to debate?

I have no idea. I am as baffled as you are. It looks like a great achievement to me, that this website should be celebrating rather than trying to hide.

LakesWinter on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: I agree with you, an amazing ascent and IMHO onsight, especially as the route was unchalked when he started it, all this terminology is silly, he did "normal climbing" on the route; turned up at the bottom, got ready and climbed it, I'm really impressed and think it an excellent achievement.
catt on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Thanks for pointing this out Gordon. I for one had missed any mention earlier.

Brilliant news to hear that such a classic hard grit route has now been onsighted.
Franco Cookson OLD - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to catt: *flashed*
In reply to Franco Cookson:


"here we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go" - all together now!


Chris
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nigel pearson - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

No one has mentioned that the action footage in hard grit shows someone fail on the route. To my mind he onsighted this route.
Jon Read - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
As the original thread span it's way out of existance I'll say again what I said there.

Wow! Amazing achievement.

It looks like the 'best' gritstone climbers don't even live in the UK. Great!
Mick Ward - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to nigel pearson:

Agree.

Mick
Franco Cookson OLD - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to nigel pearson: can we keep opinions out of this (especially wrong ones) as it will just lead to stupid arguments again.
practicalcat on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Franco Cookson:
That would be great - this thread is quickly going the same way as the other. Please remember that that should apply to you, too: you have been very quick to post your own opinions on this thread regarding the style of ascent.

Re the actual news: It is an amazing and inspirational achievement! Fantastic effort.
shark - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to nigel pearson: the action footage in hard grit shows someone fail on the route

Only because Seb pulled him off - or at least that how it looks.
Franco Cookson OLD - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to practicalcat:
> (In reply to Franco Cookson)
> That would be great - this thread is quickly going the same way as the other. Please remember that that should apply to you, too: you have been very quick to post your own opinions on this thread regarding the style of ascent.
>
I haven't posted any opinion on here at all. What you on about?
In reply to Franco Cookson:



"here we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go" - all together now!


Chris
ksjs - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Franco Cookson: come on: if you, i or anyone sees a film of someone climbing a route and that film doesnt show intricate or specific beta and, moreover, the film isnt watched in such a way that the moves are being noted for when you have go then the fact that Alex watched Hard Grit makes no difference. IIRC the shot is from a certain angle anyway which, as someone mentions above, means that when you see the route in the flesh it feels totally different. equally, just because something works for someone else doesnt mean it will work for you so i think your mindset is most definitely still an onsight one, especially at this level.

anyway, a superb ascent. at last grit is being put in its place...
Franco Cookson OLD - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to ksjs: Copy that into the other thread and i'll reply.
orge - on 14 Nov 2008
Amazing effort!!! Great to hear they are still tearing it up, as I was wondering whether they might have had to head home.

Fingers crossed for some better weather in the near future.

J
shark - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to feeders of Franco:

Irritating as he might be to many Franco is factually correct. It was not onsight. KJ's style was almost perfect - another stunning ascent in great style.

As KJ implied in-situ chalk beta could be equivalent to video beta or perhaps be even more helpful. This highlights, yet again, the more riduluous aspects of the onsight fetish in this day and age.
g taylor - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Liam Copley:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth) was the ascent filmed?, and that reminds me, was kevins ascent of Parthian Shot filmed either? or any of the americans ascents for that mattter :)


Yes, and Yes.
Top marks

Well Done that fella
chris_j_s - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Simon Lee:

Wasn't it AH as opposed to KJ? ;-)

Credit where credits due an' all that!
shark - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to chris_j_s:

Whoops.

Should have said TA to cover myself.
Morgan Woods - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> (In reply to nigel pearson) can we keep opinions out of this (especially wrong ones) as it will just lead to stupid arguments again.

could you try following your own advice then Franco.
Adam Lincoln - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Franco Cookson:

You and your silly little comments should be banned from news threads. Stop taking away from something that has only happend in the UK 4 or 5 times on grit. Be it an onsight or a flash. Who cares!
Jus - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to craig d:

News threads which should be celebrating amazing ascents like this one almost always end up with idiots spouting crap. Sad.

muppetfilter - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to craig d: I agree it is an undeniably groundbreaking ascent.

As to the silly little boy trying to mar such an achievement, poppycock... It was an onsight ascent. If you walk up and touch the holds for the first time and make the moves for the first time on lead it is onsight.

As for the childish mewlings about watching a video, i once went around Nuremberg on the playstation 2..... this i feel wont put me in a position to give Lewis Hamilton a run for his money.

And to our erstwhile little scunner could i suggest you get your arse down to the local horse/bondage shop and get some blinkers to wear to the crag, I feel you may accidentaly watch someone on a route and spoil it for eternity...
ads.ukclimbing.com
Adam Lincoln - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to craig d:
> (In reply to Adam Lincoln)
> [...]
> I bet he doesn't give a monkeys about the opinion of annoying untalented tos*ers like Franco.

Well said. I am sure he looses more sleep about the feeling going through his head matching that sloper on Gaia.

Byronius Maximus - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to muppetfilter:
> As to the silly little boy trying to mar such an achievement, poppycock... It was an onsight ascent.

"Not a true onsight" were the words of the man who did the climb himself. All Franco was doing was re-iterating this statement himself, and he has congratulated him numerous times on this and the other thread. Stop giving him such a hard time.

> As for the childish mewlings about watching a video, i once went around Nuremberg on the playstation 2..... this i feel wont put me in a position to give Lewis Hamilton a run for his money.
>

Of course it won't, but that's because you're a crap racing driver. If you were a world championship F1 driver, then driving an accurately modelled track in a simulator would help to learn lines, apexes and braking points etc (this is something that drivers actually do, especially for a new track). Obviously it wouldn't be the same as the real thing though.
JLS on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Adam Lincoln:

>"that sloper on Gaia"

There's a sloper? B*gger, that's that scratched from my wishlist, I'd hoped it was a crimp fest...
Byronius Maximus - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Byron Buck:

Forgot to say; top effort by Alex Honnold there. You have to wonder how hard trad onsighting/flashing/whatever you want to call it can get when things like this are done in such a style.
HeMa on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Bah, what's that Yank ever done on GRIT.
JamieAyres on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Well done to Alex - amazing climbing.

Oh, and for my money, watching 'Hard Grit' does not disqualify the onsight. The man himself is being typically humble by the sounds of things but I personally don't see the Hard Grit footage as giving any more beta than some detailed guidebook descriptions of other routes I've read.

Think about it - how many times have you read in a guide that there's "a good hidden hold on the left/right" or "there is a peg runner low down on the right - its hard to spot but IT IS THERE" or "hidden holds above the overhang can be reached by the tall" or..... you get the picture.

Printed guidebook or video - no difference to me: the guy climbed it on sight.

andy farnell - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: He walked up to it, tied on, climbed up. place some gear, climbed on, reached the top. Onsight IMHO

So he had watched a video of someone falling off it previously. That makes little to no difference.

Incredible achievement.

Andy F

p.s. Franco grow up.
Climbing Narcissist on 14 Nov 2008 - network.associatedbag.com
In reply to JamieAyres:

It is also probable that Alex had seen Lisa Rands' attempts on Gaia in Dosage 4. Seeing someone succeed on a grit route on film would certainly give one some additional mental confidence even if there is no chalk on the first attempt.

Either way this doesn't really take anything away from what is an amazing ascent.
The sharp end - on 14 Nov 2008
Honnold is pretty inspirational at the mo! Amazing stuff! Well done!
jkarran - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to andy farnell:

> ...Onsight IMHO
> p.s. Franco grow up.

I suspect this ('this' being the IMHO bit) is the root of the problem. There seems to be some weird idea that any of these 'rules' are set in stone rather than merely a collection of loosely similar personal opinions. Franco et al would do well to recognise that.

I said it on the other joke of a thread and I'll say it again.... Awesome effort and one I'd happily call onsight. I personally couldn't give a toss what he's watched on tv.

jk
vscott - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to andy farnell: Personally I reckon watching hard grit ups the impressiveness... getting on a route that you've seen someone tool themselves on can't help the state of mind...

johncoxmysteriously - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
>
> It is what it is....
>
> Why the rush to put a label on this ascent?

Exactly - it is what it is, which is an amazing and long overdue effort.

However, imho anyone who thinks that seeing a film of an ascent won't help at all, or might not help at all, either knows nothing about it or is kidding themselves, and that's what we choose to mean by this rather silly label 'on-sight'.

jcm
Andy Moles - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Amazing effort!

As for the 'is it a true onsight or not' argument, who cares? He's been perfectly honest about the nature of the ascent, why the need for these absolute labels? Call it onsight, call it a flash, whatever, it doesn't alter the way he climbed the route. Impressive stuff.
John2 - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: "anyone who thinks that seeing a film of an ascent won't help at all, or might not help at all, either knows nothing about it or is kidding themselves, and that's what we choose to mean by this rather silly label 'on-sight'"

This is a really problematic area though, isn't it. To invent a scenario which has possibly never been realised, a seriously talented athletic youngster who has never considered engaging in rock climbing (Rich Simpson?) watches a climbing video and thinks that climbing looks a brilliant sport. A year or two later he performs the first on sight ascent of the route he previously watched on video. Are you going to say that his was not an on sight ascent?

And how do you suggest that climbers wishing to perform the first on sight ascent of a new route conduct themselves? Check into a Trappist monastery from the day after the first ascent until the day on which they attempt the route? Because if they conduct themselves otherwise it is hardly credible that they will not have heard suggestions about how to climb the route.


craig d - on 14 Nov 2008
I have decided that I am only going to climb on sight from now on. As I have climbed in the Peak District for 26 years, that means i can no longer claim any on sights as I am bound to have seen someone climbing all the routes i want to do. I have just told the wife and kids that we need to move but not sure where to go. As i have seen loads of climbing vids, can't go anywhere that has been featured in one of them.

Ah blow it i am going to stay where i am and take up sky diving.
Skyfall - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to craig and John2:

Agreed - there's hardly a serious climber in the world can claim an on-sight of Gaia now (as just about everyone has seen Hard Grit multiple times). And that goes for many routes.

That's about as on-sight as it's likely to get of some of these high profile rules.

Superb effort!

(which no one is denying regardless as to what side of the on-sight debate they lie I appreciate)
Serpico on 14 Nov 2008 - 89.241.131.11 whois?
In reply to craig d:

>
> Ah blow it i am going to stay where i am and take up sky diving.

Good for you, just remember a jump doesn't count unless you've packed your parachute blindfolded.

mark s - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: someone with the climbing skill to actually get on a route like gaia with out practicing it knows what they are doing.ive never been on gaia but have looked from below and it doesnt look a hard route to read.its obious left in pocket reach flake with right,climb the groove then move out right.
what alex did was superb and he would still have done the route video or no vido.cant imagine him near the top thinking what he'd seen on video,he would have done what felt right.
they've only been here a few weeks,but changed grit climbing for many years to come.

well done,brill effort
JoeL 90 - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to JonC: I expect, as many keen climbers have never seen climbing films then there must be a few top climbers too that haven't. Most top climbers will probably be poor so why would they spend 20 on climbing DVD when for the same price they could get 4 brilliant and ultimately more interesting movies from amazon.
RupertD - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to :

So the definition of onsight should change to "leading a route, first go, without beta, unless that beta came from a video, a photograph or seeing someone on the route, unless you specifically watched that video/picture/climber on the route with the express intention of gaining beta and you can remember it very well, unless of course the route is so obvious that when you get there you decide that would have guessed that the sequence was the same as that you saw in the video, unless... etc"


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Franco Cookson OLD - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to andy farnell:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth) He walked up to it, tied on, climbed up. place some gear, climbed on, reached the top. Onsight IMHO
>
> So he had watched a video of someone falling off it previously. That makes little to no difference.
>
> Incredible achievement.
>
> Andy F
>
> p.s. Franco grow up.

oright then, lets not leave this thread free from crap debate. The facts of the matter are, he's seen someone do the crux. If you think seeing someone do the crux move of a route doesn't help you're deranged.

grow up? I am was the only one refraining from spouting my ill-informed oppinions. I don't see how any of this has anything to do with age. You think having beta still allows an onsight attempt. I don't. Just a simple disagreement.

Franco Cookson OLD - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to RupertD: easier to leave it how it is- no info more than the guidebook, but people like to change the definition to suit themselves.
In reply to Franco Cookson:

"here we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go" - all together now!


Chris
Franco Cookson OLD - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Chris Craggs: what you gonna lop in your next best seller as the definition of onsight?
Morgan Woods - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to andy farnell:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth) He walked up to it, tied on, climbed up. place some gear, climbed on, reached the top. Onsight IMHO
>
> So he had watched a video of someone falling off it previously. That makes little to no difference.
>
> Incredible achievement.
>
> Andy F
>
> p.s. Franco grow up.

thanks Andy, i couldn't quite encapsulate it.
Yellow Tailed Woolly Monkey on 14 Nov 2008 - host86-140-216-0.range86-140.btcentralplus.com
In reply to Franco Cookson:

I don't think I've ever come across someone as annoying as you. Are you always like this or are you just camping out on this particular thread to intentionally attempt to wind people up by repeating your opinion whilst telling others not to voice theirs?


He's only being humble by not claiming the onsight - and preventing himself being hassled by little boys like you jumping up and down and telling him how to label his amazing achievement.

Did he actually watch the film with the intention of gathering beta? I've seen the film numerous times, but I couldn't advise anyone else on how to climb the route based on what I've seen. How long ago did he see it? Why the argument without the facts?
Franco Cookson OLD - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Yellow Tailed Woolly Monkey:
> (In reply to Franco Cookson)
>
> I don't think I've ever come across someone as annoying as you. Are you always like this or are you just camping out on this particular thread to intentionally attempt to wind people up by repeating your opinion whilst telling others not to voice theirs?
>
I was actually not voicing my opinion on here untill everyone else dragged the thread down, if you read it.

> He's only being humble by not claiming the onsight - and preventing himself being hassled by little boys like you jumping up and down and telling him how to label his amazing achievement.

maybe. I'm not telling him how to label it, just stating the facts of what is and isnt an onsight. I hope if he bothered to read this he doesn't think i'm dissing his achievement. Amazing piece of climbing and a great improvement in not only the style the route was climbed in, but also grit onsighting. I agree the ascent was ridiculously close to onsight, but as he highlighted he'd watched someone do the crux we can't then continue to call something onsight that obviously wasn't. it's just blind opinion, changing the meaning of onsight to help our own means.

> Did he actually watch the film with the intention of gathering beta? I've seen the film numerous times, but I couldn't advise anyone else on how to climb the route based on what I've seen. How long ago did he see it? Why the argument without the facts?

RupertD - on 14 Nov 2008
In reply to Yellow Tailed Woolly Monkey:
> Did he actually watch the film with the intention of gathering beta?

Doesn't really matter.

> I've seen the film numerous times, but I couldn't advise anyone else on how to climb the route based on what I've seen. How long ago did he see it?

I last saw Hard Grit about 5-6 years ago or thereabouts. I think I also maybe saw someone else on a video of Gaia at a climbing wall or somewhere, but couldn't tell you where or when or who the video was of. I also have no real ambitions to go and do Gaia and I've certainly never watched a film of it with any intention to gain beta.

Nevertheless, I can tell you that the physical crux is leaving the low break and I could describe how to do that crux, using two possible methods. I know which one I'd be more likely to succeed on first try and therefore the method that I'd try on the flash. I could make a good guess at the size of gear that goes in the flake. I know that once established in the groove the difficulty of the climbing eases, but that it seems to be sketchy leaving the groove above to move onto the sloping rail out right. I could make a pretty good guess at how good the footholds are at that point. I know that properly belayed you wont deck from a fall at that point but may hit the lower arete. I know at the pull from the sloping shelf to the rounded aretey thing above can be done with a right heel, and so on.

Now perhaps Alex didn't know any of the above, but watching a video can give an awful lot away.

craig d - on 15 Nov 2008
Holy shit Rupert, you've just blown Franco's on sight of Gaia. I bet he's gutted!
Stu Tyrrell on 15 Nov 2008
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Very Good effort!

Someone said he was asking where Widdop is..........

Stu
Bjorn on 15 Nov 2008 - 92-244-3-210.customers.ownit.se
7b+ onsight/flash... How come no one has done it before? I'm not surprised Alex dispatched it in 3 minutes, as he's onsighted several traditional 8a's before. Ok, those were cracks, but still.
Michael Ryan - on 15 Nov 2008
In reply to Bjorn:
> 7b+ onsight/flash... How come no one has done it before? I'm not surprised Alex dispatched it in 3 minutes, as he's onsighted several traditional 8a's before. Ok, those were cracks, but still.

As you know Bjorn, grit routes aren't clip ups. Nor are grit grades just a series of numbers that are easily converted to the world standard, there's something more. These hard grit routes especially the ones in the film Hard Grit have an 'aura' around them, a history and a tradition. People look at them with awe. This is part of the unquantifiable difficulty of these routes that exerts a force on UK climbers at least.

I'm sure others will offer an opinion.

Michael Ryan - on 15 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

And apart from that Alex Honnold is a wad, with as you know some of the hardest solos ever achieved under his belt.
Bjorn on 15 Nov 2008 - 92-244-3-210.customers.ownit.se
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Yes Mick, I know this, but, the question is whether this tradition, history or 'aura', in fact repels, or intimidates if you like, people from the routes, because they're, in the climbers minds, made into something more than they are. Out of respect or what ever you want to call it.
If Gaia was given, say 7b+ S, maybe more climbers would dare go for the onsight or flash. I'm not sure that would be a good thing, come to think of it, especially if they don't pad up.
johnj on 15 Nov 2008 - 79-64-56-211.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Its amazing with the amount of quality rock climbing that's available in the World that our little backwater of broken outcrops is receiving such global attention right now; Also congratulation to Alex for his great effort on this classic hard route as well!
Michael Ryan - on 15 Nov 2008
In reply to Bjorn:

Yes there is an intimidation factor, also headpointing has been the prevailing style of ascent for these routes for a long time. Most in the know have an idea of the French grade of these routes and how bold they are, so it's not just the grade, athough I'm sure very-large-E-grades have an effect.

Again, Honnold is a world class climber, bold in the extreme, which is what it takes to flash/onsight/ground-up these kind of routes - despite the relatively low French grade.
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: I was flicking through the last but one Climb yesterday whilst waiting for the bus. It's the one with Pembroke on the front cover. Steve Mclure article on the Petzl Road Trip to Austria has an amazing picture in it of some one a "highball Font 7b+" or words to that effect. From the pic this boulder problem looked noticeably higher than Gaia and totally terrifying. Perhaps the Austrians need to borrow the E grades for some of their "boulder problems"?
Chris H - on 15 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: "These hard grit routes especially the ones in the film Hard Grit have an 'aura' around them, a history and a tradition. People look at them with awe.This is part of the unquantifiable difficulty of these routes that exerts a force on UK climbers at least."

If the adj grade represents the overall "difficulty" then one could argue that this "aura" could be incorporated into the grade. On the other hand, one could argue that a genuine onsight would be by someone with no awareness of the climb beyond it being a lump of rock in Cromford etc.


north country boy - on 15 Nov 2008
In reply to TobyA: i think that was actually tagged as a F7b+ that was being climbed with mats and spotters rather than a rope.....
In reply to north country boy: I looked at the "spotters" they all seemed to be standing well back thinking - "I'm not going to bloody try and catch him from 20 mtrs up!"
Al Evans on 15 Nov 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to Bjorn)
> [...]
>
> As you know Bjorn, grit routes aren't clip ups. Nor are grit grades just a series of numbers that are easily converted to the world standard, there's something more. These hard grit routes especially the ones in the film Hard Grit have an 'aura' around them, a history and a tradition. People look at them with awe. This is part of the unquantifiable difficulty of these routes that exerts a force on UK climbers at least.

For once Mick, just for once, I agree with you, not that you will be bothered of course :-)

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